Oranges and Lemons – a Mallorquines Odyssey

A week away under a Mallorcan sun – on the north-west coast of this beautiful island  at Port de Soller. Not that we were lacking in sunshine at home – we left on the Bank Holiday Monday when temperatures in London were set to reach 27C, but the location, in a horseshoe bay beneath the fringe of the mighty Tremuntada mountains, well you can see the appeal.

My first visit to these parts, though I was on the island some forty six or seven years ago, it is certainly somewhere I hope to return to. Flying in to Palma, you pick up a beautiful wooden train taking you through the mountain range, on high passes and through long tunnels, to the town of Soller. There, you pick up a wooden tram, circa 1912, that used to transport oranges and lemons, down to the coast and the Port de Soller where we were to spend the next few days. A charming and delightful way to arrive at a place, and setting the tone for the week ahead.

The galleries that follow are essentially my holiday pics, though I have smattered them through with photos of the said oranges and lemons (huge things they are too), the olives and almonds and the Mediterranean scrub of pine, rosemary and miscellaneous herbary, to at least give a nod to the horticultural bent of these pages. There’s a lot of images, as you may well have expected from me (editing? well I have …). I’ve played a little with the camera in places, with a whole series using the ‘miniature effect’ setting, but a boy has to have a play with his camera at times and I trust you will indulge me.

But now, the train and subsequent tram from Palma to Soller and thence on to the coast …

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And so, the holiday begins … a look around Port de Soller and the marina, and a trip back on that delightful tram inland to Soller, just a few kilometers away, to mooch, have coffee, shop a little and admire more oranges and lemons, and abundant loquats (Eriobotrya). The Hotel, Aimia, has much to recommend it, by the way. Superb location just behind the beach and the marina, small, spacious, great pool and terraces, friendly staff, superb breakfast, fantastic views …

Situated above the cliffs overlooking the resort and the coast, the Jumeirah hotel was worth a visit, though a touch remote from the goings on in the town and a bit of a garrison – but the views …

And back to town and then, the obligatory boat trip to see up close, the dramatic coast line as we headed out to Torrent de Pareis, a deep gorge cutting through the mountains, leading several kilometers inland. We hadn’t planned on the full hike, but ventured inland a little, picnic-ed on the little beach, swam and ventured home. Definitely something to do on the next visit though. Walking and hiking is a popular activity hereabouts and proper boots will be packed. Cycling too, though there are some serious hills to be climbed – maybe a moped next time too, then.

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And back at Port de Soller …

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Told you I was playing around with the camera …

On our last day we walked right around the bay and up to the Lighthouse, with spectacular views across the mountains and the blue bay. There’s a walk south to Deia, which takes about three hours along the coast, and this too is on the list for the next visit.

Well, that was the week that was and thank you for indulging me with my holiday snaps. I am off to Kew Gardens later today, to see for myself the newly restored Temperate House, and to the RHS Chelsea Flower Show next week, so normal horticultural rules will apply soon enough. Until the next time …


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